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Earth Day 2015: Five ways to reduce your carbon footprint in the kitchen

Amid the fervor for spring cleaning and washing away the old in time for summer, Earth Day each April is a gentle reminder to take care of our planet. This year, Earth Day falls on Wednesday, April 22. 

You don’t have to shell out money on a fancy new hybrid car or grow all your own produce to reduce your carbon footprint.

Green living can start right in your own kitchen or during your next trip to the grocery store. Try these five tips for making your house and Earth a little more happy. 

  1. Sort your trash: “Reduce, reuse and recycle” starts naturally in the kitchen. Sorting and ditching recyclable goods will depend on the services available to you at your residence, but it’s easy to keep a separate bin for recyclables. Just remember to rinse grease or food leftovers off of plastic and glass before tossing it out. 
  2. Kick the Keurig: Listen, we’re all about convenience. Those little plastic coffee pods, though, can pile up and create a lot of waste. In fact, The Atlantic reports enough pods were discarded in 2014 to circle the globe 12 times. Instead of popping in a single-serve pod, Best Health Magazine recommends buying a single-serve coffee maker sans pods. 
  3. Reusable bags: Plastic grocery bags are useful for cleaning or a makeshift lunch tote, but large, reusable sacks are available at most stores to tote your goods. Instead of buying a bunch of bags only to forget them at home when you head out to the store, keep the totes in the trunk of your car so you always have them. 
  4. Local foods: Support local agriculture by visiting area food stands and farmers markets, or find a community supported agriculture plan that works best for you. 
  5. Pile up: If you’ve got a backyard, consider building a compost patch or pile. According to Food Network, it cuts down on waste and also gives a nutrient boost to soil.
Follow digital producer Danielle Waldron on Twitter @DanielleWaldron

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